Fall and Frank

What is it about Fall that makes you just feel good?  Certainly it must be the crisp air, or the rustling trees ready to bare all.  Or maybe it’s that everything now is advertising pumpkin. That must be it.   If you walk into a Starbucks you know your supposed to be there just by the amazing smells of spice!  Regardless, of what it is, its enjoyable.  This weather is enjoyable.  It makes you want to go for a run and skip to the beat.  I found myself today blaring “the way you look tonight” by Frank Sinatra, windows rolled down completely, coffee in hand and just enjoying LIFE.  No real rush to go anywhere, (other than home to put away all the groceries purchased).  I was actually hoping someone slow would pull out in front of me so the moment could last a bit longer.  No one did.  The moment was fleeting and I was soon home grabbing children and groceries.    12 bag’s on one arm ( yes I counted)  pleading for girls to get out of the way.  Life started back up quickly……But for that small moment today, I was someplace else.  In a world all my own. It felt good.  It made me feel alive and well.   I guess you could say I Frankly love fall.     The Way You Look Tonight

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Creating yourself.

Everyone always says that change is hard.  I have to disagree.   Change is hard when it’s NOT YOU making the change.  Otherwise change is easy.  I have always been  a person that need’s to change things up.  I love to be challenged.  If I am not working on a project or working towards something I get, well, kind of depressed.  At 33 I have realized CHANGE is a NEED.  And once again Change is on it’s way.


When I launched my website and my business I had a certain direction in where I thought I wanted go.  I had a vision of where I would be in 5 years.  I had a vision of how I wanted to be perceived.  And I have come to the conclusion that all the visions I had were not necessarily good ones.  Truth is, I don’t think I have been truthful.  Truthful to who I am as a artist.  And more so, truthful to where I was in life.  


I know plenty of people who are “normal” thinkers.  These people do not have a constant desire to change themselves or surroundings.  They do not have the desire to be challenged to the point of self inflicted stress.  Many are happy and content with who they are and the way their life is.  They are always in a sweet spot of life.  At times I am very envious of these “normal” thinkers because they seem to have such a calm and upbeat way about life.  Then there is me going through life with an artist/perfectionist brain constantly working towards something or changing something.  Usually too much on my plate, and always standing while eating.


So where am I and who am I?  First thing, I am God fearing.  I believe there is a Great God who has a huge plan for all of mankind.  I really do try live my life in accordance to His will and I would love to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  No guarantees.

Second,  I am a wife. I have a great husband who work’s desperately hard to provide for our family.  He’s good at it.  We have been married for 8 years and we are still best friends.  Don’t get me wrong we have our disagreements, our huff’s and our laughs.  But at the end of the day we are “lifers”.  I knew he was the one from the moment I heard his voice and to this day I still am confident in that fact.

Third, I am a mother.  We have two little girls we are raising.  Most day’s I am utterly failing both of them it seems.  But on some day’s it feels great to be parent and see your hard work pay off.  It’s the little things, I know all of  you fellow parent’s know what I am talking about.  All the little things they say that melt your stress away.  I love these girls, and look forward to the day where we all can hop in the car and go get a coffee.  Strange I know, but if you know me you understand coffee is one of my favorite part’s of life.

And lastly, I am a Photographer/Artist.  I enjoy being creative. I need to create!  For those of you who also have a creative brain, you understand the depth of that statement.  The NEED to create.


 

So why share all of this?  What’s the point?  Well, If doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you, so they say.  My plan is to change the direction of my business.  I am thrilled at the new goals set .  I will be discussing this more in a later post.  You might have even noticed some website changes happening.  Exciting times ahead! I am excited for change and excited to becoming a better version of myself._DSC2389 copy

Leave me your thoughts below!


 

 

 

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Insert foot.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to say something you regret?  As I get older I find when I say something that is not an edifying comment I cannot stop thinking about it.  Even when explaining yourself and trying to “right” the comment I still dwell on it.  Is this an age thing?  Is this what happens when you get older you obsess about small things? Obsess about comments said?  Is this only me?


 

There are so many times I want to say something but will bite my tongue and I will catch the statement that has a mind of it’s own.  I than will feel proud and in control, I stopped a simple thought that has the power to offend.  But sure enough before I know it there goes a statement that is sure to offend.  How does one stop this?  What is the motive?  I have no idea.  As I sip my morning coffee obsessing over the comment made I have come to the realization that I no longer will speak.  Only listen.   Yeah, wish me luck with that one.


So what do you do when this happens to you?  Please tell me this happens to you too!

Happy Sunday!

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Preschool here we come!

The weeks seem to be going by quickly.  School is restarting and we are quickly gathering everything they need for the packs.  I on the other hand have two girls ages 4 and 2 and only one will be going to preschool this year.   I know some of you might say “count your blessings” or “enjoy it”.   But the truth is I cannot wait to go school shopping for both my  children.  I cannot wait to make it fun for them.  I cannot wait to let my little one pick out new outfits to wear.  And get excited about a new pink binder or cool erasers.

When I was younger, mid August, I would see the first “Back to school” commercial and I would literally get a pit in my stomach.  I then would have the constant dread and worry throughout the remainder of summer of what the school year would bring.  Why?

Having moved around a lot, being the “new kid” was the  norm.  I was always the new kid and it never got easier.  Walking in the first day, not knowing where you are, not knowing anyone and more so than that but feeling inferior.  For me it was about being prepared.  I was never prepared for what the school year would bring.  Not physically with new clothes, new supplies etc nor emotionally.  I had to face it alone and it was scary.  I don’t want my girls to ever feel those feelings.  I don’t want them to ever feel alone at school and more importantly to feel unprepared.

My four year old starts preschool the first week of September.  We have already picked out a day where we will go on a “back to school date” and pick out together everything she will need.  I am excited to be able to provide such small luxuries to her and to know that I am doing all in my power to prevent the hardships I endured in school.

Yes I know, I know that school will bring hardships no matter how prepared you are.  I agree.  No argument there.  But even now don’t you feel better going into something prepared?  Having planned it all in advance?  Had you been told about the hardships you endured in school ahead of time, would you handled them different?  I know I would.  And I hope she will too.

Here’s to supplying  our kid’s physically, mentally and most importantly emotionally of what the school year COULD bring!  I’m excited and I LOVE the new Target “back to school” commercial!6.Preschool here we come!

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Weight Loss Inspiration!

I find it a rarity to meet truly inspiring people.  I meet  generous, uplifting and caring people often.  Inspirational…..no not that much.  Till recently.  I had a session last fall with a woman who recently got a divorce and was looking to get some new “chic” photo’s.  The session was scheduled for a fall day.  The air had a chill to it and the leaves were already mostly fallen.  I met the woman and her friend and started the session.  Truthfully, we had a great time.  She was funny, charming, down to earth and pleasant to work with.  Her friend Stephanie was a little shy but interesting and engaging.  It’s kind of an art to interact with clients while trying to photograph them naturally.  It’s a fine balance that I truly pray about before I ever start a session.

Anyways, I spoke with the friend for a bit and she had mentioned she was on a weight loss journey. Isn’t it impressive when someone actually wants to change a part of themselves for the better.  I LOVE meeting people like this.  I always feel like I am trying to change something (although that’s another entry.)

 

This woman on the weight loss journey had booked a future session.  The session was to celebrate her journey.  Celebrate the fact that she had not taken pictures for 10 years and avoided cameras at all cost’s.  This session was to mark the incredible determination and decision to no longer be the woman that was bringing her down.  I couldn’t wait to be apart of this celebration!

Fast forward to yesterday.  She stepped out of the car and I did not recognize her.  She had lost the 95lb and was rocking her new self.  It’s amazing to me, the mind.  That when you decide to do something, if you really want it, you can get it done.  It was truly inspiring to hear about her journey, to hear about her new realizations, and how people treat her.

We had an amazing session and even had a celebratory cocktail at a local restaurant!  Cheers to the new you Stephanie!  Give this girl some LOVE!

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Southern Luxe Home awesome Owner and Shop

I have always loved Pottery Barn.  Since I was a kid I can remember browsing the catalog and being so envious of the person who was able to design the room.  Paying close attention to detail in how they placed certain items.  It is always so intriguing to me how they think of placing product to sell.  It truly is an ART in itself.  A couple of months back I had the opportunity to photograph product from a company called Southern Luxe Home.  And work with  someone who had this exact eye for detail, design and quality!  Southern luxe offers such high quality unique products and pays  close attention to detail.  The owner Katie Metz has an eye for luxury and quality.  The products she selects and sells through her website  Shop Southern Luxe  is simply beautiful and elegant.  And I might say different.  Not things you see everyday but wish you did!  If you are looking for something specific, high quality and classy Southern Luxe Home is the perfect online shop.  I feel honored to have photographed this product and look forward to new things she selects to sell. Below you will find some of her selections, be sure to check out this shop today!

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Back to me

When I first started dating my husband long distance I bought Bryan Adams album “Back to me”.  This album would accompany me on many a runs as I fantasized a life of marriage and children. I would imagine waking up to this man every day and having a friendship that would last a lifetime.  We would never argue, I would always say the perfect thing in times of difficulty. We would have children and they would be dressed well at all times and never talk back.  Funny, when you think about it!    Now that I am married with children I find myself fantasizing about when I was single.  Not that I want to go back to that life of being single, but more so being who I once was.  A girl who put GOD first no matter what, who had plenty of time to study and pray, plenty of time to exercise and to eat right.  The bottom line is when you are single you have time.  And when you are married with children you have time BUT prioritizing and making time to do the things you once could becomes an ART!  I miss time.  I do not miss being single.

My eldest is 3 tomorrow and my youngest is 10 months and for the first time in a while I finally feel like I’m getting back to me!  I downloaded the album once again “back to me” and went for a run this morning.  Granted it was not the 6 miles I used to do with no problem, but it was something and it felt great.  As I was running, I was thinking how great it is to have a loving husband who after 7 years still lights up my face in the morning, and two healthy children.  My life has changed significantly in 7 years, but for the better.  Time is a luxury and when organized correctly can be imperative to your mental health.  I am finding it is vital to take the time.

Watching my little 3 year old dance as I write this I am thankful.  Take the time to enjoy this time, and get don’t for get to get “back to me”.  That’s my two cents for the day.

What is one thing you do to take time for yourself?

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Baby Show success!…..well besides some ugly attitudes.

 

Yesterday, Sunday June 2nd I had the privileged to be apart of the Chicago Baby Fair.  It was a great event with a wonderful turn out.  Lot’s of women with their bumps walking around learning new things that will benefit their family.  It really was nice to see.  There were a lot of seasoned mother’s there too.  It was pleasant to see the Father’s there supporting their significant other, whether it was holding all the bags,  holding the baby or filling out the next raffle entry.
As a vendor you can really learn a lot about people.  You have the opportunity to talk with many people and also observe a lot of people on the down time.  The beauty to Baby shows or any trade show is you really need to be able to learn your client quickly.  It comes down to three actions:  Speak, Listen and pay attention to body language.   You have basically 15 seconds to have your client want to hear more, or leave.   To some degree it is a skill and a  very fun skill to obtain and practice.
During the down time at a show I like to observe the other vendors, it’s hard not to.  This baby show, I was positioned next to two young girls.  After my table was moved 3 times by the coordinator and other vendors I finally was positioned.  At first it seemed like it was going to be a really great match up.  I say match up because the table you are next to can make or break your day.  The last baby show I did I was positioned next to Eleanore with  Happy Baby Organics.  What an amazing woman.  We would laugh, share stories and comment about the show and when someone would approach either table we would break from the conversation and speak with the future client.  There was an understanding there a peace and friendliness.  This was not the case yesterday.  And although they were very friendly there true colors showed.  I suppose it is hard to hide true colors when your next to someone for 8 hours.  By the end of the day I had their agenda down.  I new that if something was in their mind that was unkind or maybe just beneath them, they would share this observation with each other  hide their face behind their hair and laugh.  I knew their approach to clients was not one of kindness but one of the “get” mentality.  Sometimes you just can’t mask an ugly attitude.
So if you plan on attending a Baby fair here are 10 tips that you can look for to make sure the vendor you are choosing is going to give their all and offer a great service. And more importantly care about what YOU want and NEED.
Follow Eleanore on Twitter she offers amazing deals!
1. Are they smiling?  Not when they are talking to someone.  But when no one is around?
2. Are they content?  Or are they checking their phone?
3. Are they standing and ready to answer questions or sitting staring out into space?
4. When you speak to them are they willing to listen or just fill you with so much info that you end up checking out after ” and, also…..”
5. What about how they treat other vendors? Are they friendly or just keeping to themselves?
6. If you are at the table do they acknowledge you or do you need to make the first comment?
7. Are they friendly?
8.  Did you fee comfortable or rushed?  Strangely, if you feel comfortable with them, this means that they are doing their job!
9.  Most importantly.  Are they approachable?
10.  And last but not least.  When you leave the vendor table, walk 5 steps and look back.  You will be able to read on their face or their body language how they felt about you.  Try it!  It works!
If you are looking for some great items to feed your baby that are healthy, convenient and smart contact Eleanore by following her on twitter!
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Memorial Day or a LONG weekend?

A friend a mine decided to go on diet.  She chose a popular a diet that has a famous coach plugging their delicious food.  I went and visited her the other day and saw this “food” that this diet supplies.  We were both a little shocked that the “food” didn’t really need refrigeration and how full of preservatives it was.  We both came to the conclusion that it really wasn’t food.  And although their concept of eating high protein, low carbs and low sugar will help you lose weight, what is it really doing to your body?

Later on that day I was sharing this experience with my husband and he made a comment that I have not been able to get out my head.  “Well, that’s probably better than what the soilder’s get”.  I never really thought about what they eat?  But this statement fueled my curiousity.  What do our soilders eat?  In that moment I really zoned out and went into being in a strange land not able to go get my Dunkin coffee that I so cherish.  Or having the ability to eat whatever I had a taste for that evening If I chose too.  I have fresh vegetables and fresh fruits showing off their bright colors in my fridge.  These thoughts led into other luxuries that I take for granted daily.  When you give thoughts like these room to cultivate you are left with feeling humbled for not recognizing all that we have and take for granted.

So for those of you who are also curious about what are troops eat here is a typical “MRE”  “Meals ready to eat”.  These meals last up to 3 years without refrigeration.  Not my ideal meal.

  • Entree (chili w/beans, spaghetti or beef stew, veggie burger in bbq sauce, chicken fajita tortilla, etc.)
  • Side dish (rice, corn, dried fruit, or mashed potatoes, etc.)
  • Crackers or bread
  • Spread – peanut butter, jelly, or cheese
  • Dessert – cookies or pound cakes, chocolate pudding
  • Candy – M&Ms, Skittles, or Tootsie Rolls
  • Beverages – Gatorade-like mixes, cocoa, dairy shakes, coffee, tea
  • Hot sauce or seasoning (only in select MREs)
  • Flameless Ration Heater to heat the entree
  • Accessories – spoon, matches, creamer, sugar, salt, chewing gum, toilet paper, etc.

So this MEMORIAL DAY when you are throwing your nice thick burgers on the grill and your juicy hot dogs and chicken remember take a minute to remember what are troops will eat.  As you scoop potato and macaroni salad on that paper plate you know cannot support both helpings take a moment to think about opening up a MRE package and eating the same thing for the 5th day in a row.  As you pop open a cold beer you just took out of the ice chest be sure to hold it up and give a hearty cheers to the soldiers who are living everyday defending so WE can picnic is peace.   And finally if you go to a parade keep your hand on your heart every time that flag passes by.   May God continue to  bless the Unites states of America.

 

 

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Senior Video Success!

This Thursday I had the opportunity to have a great session with 5 amazing girls!  During the photo session I was able to shoot some video.  These girls had an attitude of gold and had a outlook on life of EASE. I was there age only 12 years ago and it seems as if life hands things your way that you lose the “fun” sometimes.   It amazes me the energy these young girls have.    Always so carefree, fun and easy spirited. It was clear they viewed life with a outlook of adventure and excitement.  It’s strange that time sometimes takes that away from us women.

So this Tuesday morning I will focus on regaining the “fun” of life!  It is so easy to get into routine, and forget to enjoy the everyday!  Here’s to TODAY!

A special thanks to Kicks of Downtown Naperville.  They provided all the amazing footwear for this session and for the video.  Kicks specializes in unique, classic chic shoes that are comfortable, stylish and Unique!  If you have not visited Kicks you need to today!  Just walking in the Boutique makes you feel like to taken a step outside of “life” and into a relaxed atmosphere of calm.  The music is always contemporary and cool and the layout and decor is open and relaxed.  Lauren is most helpful in finding a shoe that is YOUR style.  Give this boutique a visit, I am positive you will NOT be disappointed.  Visit Kicks on Facebook.

Don’t forget to Check out this Senior Video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSTCd6j_FRE

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